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Tuesday, 01 April 2014


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Now that's a great looking car. Same color as my dad's old 1969 Norton Commando Fastback. But I bet it's more reliable.


Say it ain't so! Selling your Miata.

Oh, No!


This must have been a tough decision. I have a weekend car- Honda S2000 and in good weather, road trip, convertible, little traffic, driving pleasure.

Oooooooh! too bad we are downsizing... Been one of our favorite rides for many years but never had one.

I cant read the license plate to see if its stolen?? or says TOP!

Mike, think again about selling the Miata. It's clear from previous postings that you love the car. And I think it's worth a lot more to you than that (rather lowly) asking price. I know you have big ideas for TOP but balance the stresses in life with the pleasures of which I believe the Miata is one.

Does it have the factory toneau?

[Alas, no. She delivered it to the dealer with the tonneau in the trunk (boot), but it was "lost" when the car was prepped for the lot. I tracked down the guy who did the prep, and might even have gotten him in a bit of trouble. --Mike]

I *love* that car, especially the steering wheel. Unfortunately, I don't have a garage, and wouldn't want to risk leaving her outside.

What a gorgeous car! I am in deep lust. But I'd have to get rid of my '72 TR6...

Looks really superb. I'd be there in a flash if it were not for the 18 months left on my 2012 Miata lease. If that's the condition, as shown, anybody interested should understand that the offer is a primo bargain and jump on it.

That's cheaper than some FF DSLRs, Mike! Wish I had a garage and some cash so I could take it off your hands.

As an aside, I can only imagine how badly you want the new house if you're willing to part with your Miata.

While I can appreciate where you are coming from here, (looking to downsize, simplify your life, address newer priorities, etc. etc.) - I would suggest thinking long and hard about selling your nice ride).

I know you likely already have, but think some more about it anyway, and then again).

While it may seem frivolous and a good time to make this kind of change -- sometimes you need just just such a toy, if only to keep reminding you why you have been working so damn hard.

Just sayin.

I've always loved the Miata. The Miata doesn't love me though. My head sticks out at least 2 inches over the top, and my knees bang the dash.

If you are going to let go of it, $6800 seems awfully low for the condition, rarity , and stage of preparation.
This is a very nice car, and considering what the cost would be to bring an average condition car to this spec,(and still have no pedigree) I would say 10k is a very fair price.
What else can a person buy with this level of drivability for 10k?
10k or keep it I say.


I'm both heartened and saddened by your commitment to TOP. If this was a Western, the cowboy would be selling his horse to buy a gun with which to save the town.

By the way, from what I understand, the most fun you can have with a car is behind the wheel of one the versions of the Caterham 7 (http://uk.caterhamcars.com). This was originally the Lotus 7, but Caterham have continuously developed it down the decades. It has been described as 'the closest thing to a F1 car on the road': blistering acceleration, and your backside is only a few inches above the road surface. Even the entry-level model (which uses a turbocharged 660 cc three-cylinder Suzuki engine) will leave most cars for dead accelerating from the traffic lights (the minimalist fibreglass body weighs next to nothing, but the aerodynamics are lousy: it accelerates like crazy, but drag means it hits a brick wall above 90 mph -- mot that that's a problem in most countries; the entry-level 160 does 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and the top-end CSR does 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds). Oh, and a full windscreen (windshield) and folding roof are optional extras on all models.

And If you don't know what a Lotus 7 looks like, it's the car that Patrick McGoohan (No. 6) drives in the opening credits of The Prisoner (http://youtu.be/9AL7npkSXZE). KAR 120C was actually his own car, built by himself from a kit (some Caterhams are still available in kit form).


[Hi Alun,
Heh--I think the cowboy selling his horse metaphor might be a little overdramatic. But I know what you mean.

A Lotus Super Seven basically "set" my preferences in cars. I got to drive one as a teenager, near to the time when I got to drive *in* a Maserati Bora, a supercar of the day you no doubt remember. I wasn't behind the wheel. But on a local road with a 35-mph speed limit that had some curves which were rather thrilling (and challenging) in my mother's Volvo station wagon at 50 mph, well, the Bora just loafed through them at 70 mph with minimal drama.

Then there was the Lotus. In THAT car, I could lay my hand flat on the pavement from the driving position, the wind whipped everything around, the crazy vibration at 35 mph made the rear view mirror almost unreadable, and 40 mph felt like you were falling through space--maybe not crazy fast, but plenty exciting. That was it for me...never really liked or wanted a supercar. I always liked and wanted small, light, go-karty cars that made driving at real-world speeds seem entertaining. You know the old saying--it's better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slowly. --Mike]

I've had two non-British sports cars in British Racing Green and tan leather interiors: a 1982 Fiat Spyder (owned that one for 14 years, great car) and a 2009 Miata (bought new, still have it, love it), although the Miata is a metallic green so not technically BRG.

It's funny. Everyone talks about the Miata as the ultimate evolution of the British sports car, but I've always felt it's more Italian than British. Most MGs, Triumphs and Austin Healey's I've driven are low revving, high torque, with heavy controls (steering, pedals) and a rather stiff, buckboard-like ride. Whereas Alfas and Fiats are high revving, low torque, with lighter controls and a ride that manages to be not punishing at all. Which describes the Miata perfectly.

Good luck with the sale. It looks like a beauty.

This is the second time I've been offered a great deal on a used Miata and alas, like the first time I'm not in a financial position to do it (two mortgages). If you find a buyer for our old house I'll buy the car. :-)

An automobile far too small for me to ever fit inside top up or down. However without the Miata in the garage, maybe rather than sell the house, move into the garage. Many others end up moving their surplus into the garage, so move your home into the garage and then the whole house will be your office!

Too shiny for me, and you know what I'd do to a Miata .

Speaking as someone who learned on a Contaflex, still has one and shoots exclusively on a D700, I'm guessing that there's more of you in that Miata than in your big dragoon. Find a way to keep it in the family. Sell a few cameras first.

Can you deliver?

I had a Mazda blue 1990 from new- complete with clip on hard top. One of 2 cars that I regret having sold (the other was a 1970 cooper s). At least I sold to friends whom continue to cherish it.

Wow, if you could ship to the UK I'd make you an offer! Guess I'll have to wait for the print sale instead!

You’re killing me Mike. I’m just over 50, in dire need of a roadster, and could even find the scratch at that price. Always loved the Miatas and that British racing green makes me weak in the knees. But I don’t have a garage to park it in, and I can’t really justify having a second car given that I only drive my existing car about 6000 miles a year. (Also, the gun-toting thieves at the Canadian border would probably make me pay another $3000 in taxes and duties…)

[I'd encourage you to start looking around in your area. Bide your time. You can get nice driveable Miatas for $3500, and $5000 is a decent budget if you're reasonably careful. It's a very fun car to "experience" for a year or two even if you don't plan to keep it for the long term--it really is a blast to drive at the speed limit. Oh, and garage the Miata and let the other car sit out! --Mike]

Thanks for the tips Mike. I don't have a garage at all, just a car port. There's room for two, but it means the other car will always have its butt sticking out. (No biggie.)

You're right that there are Miatas to be had everywhere, but I really like this special edition model (especially that color!). And I'm confident that it has been very well cared for. And I will be in Chicago in early June... Oh, lord help me!

Some people say it's not a car for a tall guy. I'm 5'10, about 200 lbs. I wonder how I'd fit? I should sit in a local one to get a sense of it.

George - perhaps the ultimate evolution of a British sports car - Lotus to be specific rather than a MG/Triumph/Healey?

K, I'm turning the double nickels coming up here. Can I say this is my mid-life-crisis car and convince my wife that it is a good thing?

I now drive a Cooper S - which is more useful - but I miss my Miata.

"never run in rain"

Mike, one of the great things to do in convertibles is drive in the rain with the top down.

I once drove a comvertable* from a bit west of Des Moines Iowa to Grand Island Nebraska in a light to medium rainstorm ending at sunset in Grand Island with scattered lightening. I don't know which was better, the beauty or that great rainstorm smell. I didn't get wet at all.

On the other hand a few months earlier I hit a puddle on the Taconic State Parkway and instantly funneled about 30 gallons of water between the top of the windshield and the edge of the canvas roof onto my girlfriend and me on the way to fancy art opening in Manhattan. Fortunately she was English and thought it was hilarious.

*towing a u-haul trailer!

Actually, the Miata resembles most the Lotus Elan, in style, performance and, well, elan. The original 1962 Elan was technologically advanced with a DOHC 1557 cc engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, pop-up headlights, and 4-wheel independent suspension. The Elan was more or less racing legend Jim Clark's daily driver for fun on the highways. Many people believe the Elan was in fact the inspiration for the Miata/MX5.

My own Miata is a not so fancy, original "1990" base model, with manual steering. Just pure driving fun, exquisite feedback and control while doing so.

Regarding the stress issue of running the AC on the Miata: I had a 1999 Miata and drove it in Texas which required AC most of the year. At one point, I started having overheating problems with the AC on when I came to a stoplight. It would cool down when moving or if I turned off the AC. Took it to the dealer and they replaced one of the two electric fans that was defective and never had any more overheating problems. I don't know if your car is having the same problem, but the AC should work fine and not cause the engine to overheat even in temps well above 105 F. Your car looks great and good luck whether you sell it or keep it.
Dan Emerson

Hi Mike

So now I not only respect your views on cameras and photography, but your taste in cars. The SE BRG is really a special car - all the joys of a Miata with the comforts of a soccer mom car. My two passions for he last thirty+ years have been great cars and photography. I was able to combine these and re-re-re invent myself (good thing every 15 years or so) as a vintage car photographer. I`ve had the joy of spending time with dozens of different sports cars - young & old, often scoring a ride or a drive.

To the many "large fellows" wondering about fit - I am 6' tall (maybe a little shrinkage) and have veered between 245 and 220 lbs. for the last twenty years. The only car I couldn`t drive due to girth was the MG Midget .... my fat, wide feet were too big for the pedals - and I was selling MGs at the time. I`ve been driving my 1990 Miata for twenty four years - comfortably. I`ve driven dozens of different "sporty cars" - none of them feel as connected to my butt as the Miata. The steering (non P/S on mine), shifting (judged one of the best .. ever) handling, stopping and general get up n`go are unmatched - at the price.

Highly recommended - even if you`re large enough to look like a gorilla on a tricycle. Put the top down and drive proud - life`s too short to care about how strangers see you.

Cheers & all the best on the moving sale Big Mike :)


For all the folks who think they are too tall for a Miata, there is a rather simple, and cheap, DIY gas pedal extension project that makes a huge comfort difference for those of us over 6 feet tall. I have a red 2007 PRHT that I absolutely love in my old age. If I wasn't going to be with my dogs in the pet cemetery, I would be buried in it.

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